I was winding down a four-hour library session yesterday when I accidentally found the first edition of Amereida I. Or to put it in the terms of the School of Valparaíso, the book irrupted into my presence. Curiosity led me to look at the shelf of other editions of Amereida I. Just as I was standing to leave I saw a book tucked into the gap between stacks. The cover was unlike anything I have ever seen from the School and it took me a while to make out the lettering. But once all the shapes came together, there it was: Amereida.
Since Amereida as a philosophy figures largely in my dissertation I have read this text inside and out. I’ve even translated it into English. Perhaps I was too wrapped up in the handy PDF edition to ever wonder about the other editions. Perhaps I assumed the images were the same. But like my seventh grade teacher used to say, “Assuming makes an ass out of you and me.” Kind of weird she said that to us all the time.
But I digress. The images are different! It’s something only someone working on this topic would notice, but it was a stunning breakthrough. The “Southern Cross on South America” is perhaps one of the most well-known images from the poem.In the 1967 edition the continent is not only slanted but it is off center, floating into the Pacific and dragging the Southern Cross constellation with it as it drifts away.
The discovery of the day was seeing this duo. Later editions present the pair in sequential order though, lo and behold, they were meant to appear as a diptych. A truly glorious way to end the poem.